The Safe and Secure Foundation Donates Child Passenger Safety Seat to Help RWJUH Pediatric Patients in Body Cast Travel Roads Safely
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Pictured outside of BMSCH, from left: Pattie Foley, vice president, Outpatient Services, Children’s Specialized Hospital; Retired Toms River Police Officer Tom Leach; Diana Starace, RWJ’s injury prevention coordinator; Melissa McCulley, a recreational therapist at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital and a child passenger safety tech; and Colleen Donovan, APN-C, coordinator of RWJUH’s scoliosis and pediatric orthopedics program and a child passenger safety tech.
div>NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Families with a child released from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in a spica cast, rendering the pediatric patient unable to fit in a regular car or booster seat, will no longer have to wonder “How do I get my child home safely?” Retired Toms River Police Officer Tom Leach and the Point Pleasant-based non-profit that he co-founded, The Safe and Secure Foundation, recently donated a special child passenger safety seat to help these patients get home, and out and about on the road, safely.
“I was a traffic safety officer for many years, and I personally saw the impact of misuse or lack of use of car seats. The need is there to educate and to assist families,” said Leach, who personally delivered the bright blue safety seat to the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH). “I started this Foundation so that I and other active and retired law enforcement traffic safety experts, health care professionals and those interested in preventing tragic incidents on the road can reach the public in other ways.”
The Safe and Secure Foundation provides support, instruction, materials and safety equipment to individuals of all ages with the goal of reducing the frequency of motor vehicle crashes as well as the frequency and severity of the injuries related to those crashes. Its four key areas of focus are child passenger safety, teen drivers, seat belt use and senior drivers.
Leach was welcomed to BMSCH by Diana Starace, RWJ’s injury prevention coordinator; Colleen Donovan, APN-C, coordinator of the hospital’s scoliosis and pediatric orthopedics program and a child passenger safety tech; Pattie Foley, vice president, Outpatient Services, at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital, and Melissa McCulley, a recreational therapist at Children’s Specialized Hospital and a child passenger safety tech.
“We thank Tom and The Safe and Secure Foundation for this much-needed donation,” Starace said. “Kids just don’t fit into their regular car or booster seat because of the size and weight of the spica (or body) cast, but children must be properly secured in a car seat any time they’re in a vehicle on the road. At discharge, we want to ensure that these patients get home safely and can travel in a vehicle safely until the cast comes off.”
A spica cast, also called a hip or body cast, immobilizes the hips and thighs so that bones or tendons can heal properly. The benefits of the Hippo car seat, which is manufactured by BRITAX, are higher harness weights and no arm rests, so the seat can accommodate a larger child, including those with a spica cast, Starace explained.
“Until now, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital have relied on our Robert Wood Johnson Health System partner, PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital, to help us assist families with children who have had hip surgery or other treatments that require these patients to leave the hospital in a spica cast,” explains Donovan. “In addition to ensuring our patients’ safety on the road, we want to help relieve families of the expense for a temporary need. These car seats can cost about $500, and it doesn’t make sense to spend that on a solution needed, on average, for four to six weeks.”
The Hippo will be loaned to families through BMSCH’s Pediatric Orthopedics Department. Those borrowing the seat will receive related education materials and vehicle passenger safety information at discharge.
RWJUH, BMSCH and Children’s Specialized Hospital will continue to work together to meet families’ needs if more than one Hippo seat is needed at a time, Starace said. And, as part of a new Pediatric Outreach Collaborative, RWJUH and Children’s Specialized Hospital are working together to develop policies that are consistent between the hospitals regarding discharge, special needs transportation and non-emergent pediatric transport, she added.
Children’s Specialized Hospital
is the preeminent provider of rehabilitation services for children with special needs. The hospital serves children affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury, premature birth, autism, developmental delays, and life-changing illnesses. Children’s Specialized Hospital has ten sites in New Jersey and treats 20,000 children each year, making it the largest pediatric rehabilitation system of its kind in the nation. Services include outpatient services, acute rehabilitation, and long-term care through its sites in Bayonne, Clifton, Egg Harbor Township, Mountainside, Toms River, Fanwood, Hamilton, New Brunswick and Roselle Park as well as outreach programs in many communities. Children's Specialized Hospital is an affiliate member of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and a proud member of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation supports the programs and services of the hospital. The Foundation is ranked among the top six pediatric hospital foundations in the country. To help, or find more information: visit www.childrens-specialized.org
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The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is New Jersey’s largest free-standing, state-designated acute care children’s hospital. The hospital, under the clinical leadership of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, serves the healthcare needs of children from New Jersey and beyond, bringing the full spectrum of comprehensive pediatric specialties and subspecialties and nationally-recognized services to pediatric patients.
Safe Kids Middlesex County
Sake Kids Middlesex County is the local affiliate of the Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children ages 14 and under. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is the lead agency for Safe Kids Middlesex County.
Level One Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is home to the state-designated Level 1 Trauma Center for the six counties of Central New Jersey. A skilled shock/trauma team including physicians, neurosurgeons, pediatric surgeons and specially-trained nurses is available 24 hours a day.
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